“Live and skate in the present”. So said Shani Davis in an interview with Chinese media after practice at the Olympic Oval.

Shani’s experiences in Nagano, Japan, site of the 1998 Winter Olympics, left a profound impression, especially a visit to an ancient Buddhist temple. “I’ve learned to not dwell on my past difficulties — or accomplishments…I try not to let others’ expectation affect my actions. I just have to work hard to earn everything.”

Shani also explained the dynamic of friendly competition to a crew from Canadian television. He counts Denny Morrison, a Canadian skater and medal contender, among his friends. “We push each other toward excellence.”

Shani’s been gracious with media from all countries, including with NBC’s Andrea Kremer, who’ll be covering speedskating for the U.S. network.

“I’m just having fun here,” Davis told a group of U.S. reporters before heading home to rest. “I’m just following my heart and I look forward to seeing what happens.”